Letter 310a

310a. Ludwig Tieck to Wilhelm Schlegel in Berlin: Dresden, (ca. 21) April 1801 [*]

[Dresden, (ca. 21) April 1801]

I saw your sister once and can tell you this much with certainty, namely, that she is now completely out of danger, and even more, is well on the way to recovery. She made it through a serious nervous fever and is extremely weak, but is cheerful and lively, has begun walking about in the room, and wants to be carried outside as soon as the weather improves. I will probably see her again today.

Hence you can rest assured on that count, though she was indeed in quite serious trouble. I was astonished at her liveliness amid such considerable weakness. . . .

I have had to postpone my trip to Jena for now; the weather is too unstable, and I cannot at all rely on my own miserable health. By the way, you really have no reason to hold it against me if I instead accept Friedrich’s cordial invitation; my promise involved only Frommann, since neither of us believed that Friedrich had sufficient space. [1] I have various things to discuss with him, and staying elsewhere, further away, would be rather circumstantial for me. Hence if I do perhaps yet go to Jena in the autumn, I have in this case accepted Friedrich’s invitation.

I know you will not hold it against me; you know how Friedrich stands with Caroline, and it is quite natural that, should I (how should I put it?) have to take sides, that I will take Friedrich’s. [2] . . .


[*] Source: Lohner 59–60. — Caroline mentions Charlotte Ernst’s serious illness in her letter to Wilhelm on 14 april 1801 (letter 307) (Post Karte Durch ganz Deutschland, ed. J. Walch [Augsburg 1795]):


Tieck similarly informs Friedrich Schlegel of Charlotte’s status in his letter to Friedrich on 23 April 1801 (letter 310c). Back.

[1] Concerning possible accommodations in Jena: Wilhelm had written Tieck from Berlin (Tieck was in Dresden at the time) on 13 April 1801 (Lohner 59): “It goes without saying that we will remain with the decision that you stay in our house if Caroline is already back in Jena by then — you gave me your word on that point.”

Caroline had already made an issue of this point with Wilhelm in her letter to him on on 26–27 March 1801 (letter 303), suggesting that Tieck stay in the house at Leutragasse 5, which she would be occupying with Luise and Emma Wiedemann after her own return to Jena on 23 April 1801. She had similarly urged Schelling, in her letter to him on 16 April 1801 (letter 308), to “hold” Tieck “back,” i.e., keep him away from Friedrich, until her return.

Friedrich in his own turn voiced his annoyance in this matter to Wilhelm in a letter to him on 6 April 1801 (letter 304a). Back.

[2] Tieck was not being entirely straightforward with Wilhelm; see his letter to Friedrich 23 April 1801 (letter 310b). Back.

Translation © 2015 Doug Stott